Get started writing a novel

One of the best ways to get started on writing a novel is to work out the plot or the storyline.

Have you always wanted to write a story? Wished you had time to start writing the next best-selling novel? Then have a look at these tips to help you get started on writing creatively.

The characters

Before you start writing a novel, create your characters. The people in your book really need to stand out and make readers interested in them. Who is going to be your main character? And who else will appear in the story? One great way of working out your characters is to write their biographies. Write a list that includes things like their height, weight, hair color and their physical description.

Then add in things like their temperament, attitude, beliefs and behavioral quirks. Do this for all your main characters and then arrange them on a character grid. A character grid is where you look at your characters side by side so that you can see their differences and similarities. Much of the excitement in a story is based on how characters interact with each other, so by doing this you will be able to see how you can use the characters to drive your story forward.

The storyline

One of the best ways to get started on writing a novel is to work out the plot or the storyline. Think in chapters. If you have, say fifteen chapters, what will be happening in each section of the story? Write a list of plot points that will move one chapter onto the next. For a full-length novel, you are looking at a word count of 50,000 words or more. For a book of fifteen chapters, that means a word count for each chapter of around 3,500 words. Do you have enough of a story to fill each chapter?

The time commitment

Once you have an idea of your plot and characters, it’s time to start writing your novel. Find a quiet time that is free from distractions. Book yourself writing time in your busy schedule — a quiet Sunday morning, during your lunch break, or maybe an hour each evening after the children have gone to bed. Turn off your phone so that you don’t have any interruptions. If you make a resolution to write at least 1,000 words a week, you’ll have written a full-length novel in the span of a year.

To simplify the process, remember these steps: Start writing a novel by working on your characters and your plot. Find a quiet time and place to start writing and don’t let distractions deter you from your creative time. Stick with it and you could be the author of a novel by this time next year.